German intelligence service accused in new espionage scandal

German intelligence service accused in new espionage scandal

Germany’s intelligence service, already accused of spying on behalf of Washington, allegedly took the initiative of spying for several other allied countries, such as France and the United States, reveal German media on Thursday. The BND (Germany’s international secret service) was previously accused of covertly bugging the phones of officials from the French Foreign Secretary’s office, the French President’s office, and the European Commission, on behalf of the American agency NSA.

Public radio station RBB and the online edition of the weekly Der Spiegel reveal on Thursday that the BND allegedly spied on several embassies and administrations “from European and allied countries”, France and the US in particular, as well, this time of its own accord and outside its own remit.

The BND allegedly used online “selecting tools” (key words, names, phone numbers, credit card numbers etc.) provided by the NSA, as well as its own “selectors”, according to the 2 media.

This went on for several years and stopped “in the autumn of 2013”.

The parliamentary supervisory body, in charge of investigating the country’s spying practices which came to light in recent years, was made aware of this new case on Wednesday evening, and will question BND agents next week, point out Der Spiegel and RBB.

Revelations about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone being tapped led to serious tension between Berlin and Washington. “Spying on friends is not right,” said Mrs. Merkel at the time.

An investigation opened by the German judiciary was eventually closed last June.

(Source: Belga)

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